The 5 Best Reasons to Sign Up for a Hotel Credit Card

by Christy Bieber | Published on Nov. 15, 2021

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A smiling woman talking on her phone while walking with her suitcase into the lobby of a hotel.

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Hotel credit cards offer rewards that can be great for frequent travelers.


Key points

  • Hotel credit cards are rewards cards that carry a hotel brand.
  • They're best for people who frequently stay with the same hotel chain.
  • They can provide generous perks such as early check-in and more.

Hotel credit cards are a type of travel credit card that's an alternative to airline cards or more general travel rewards cards.

Hotel cards are usually best for customers who stick with the same hotel chain. And they can offer some significant advantages. Here are five reasons hotel travel cards may deserve a place in your wallet.

1. You can earn free nights

Many hotel cards let you earn free nights after you stay with the chain a certain number of times or after you spend a certain amount on your card. You may even find a card that offers a free night or two as a standard perk, especially if the card charges you an annual fee. Free nights at your preferred hotel can extend your vacation at significant savings.

2. You may get early check-in

Early check-in is a common feature with hotel rewards cards. While hotels often make you wait until afternoon to get into your room, early check-in can give you access much sooner. You can get settled faster and don't have to time things so you show up in the late afternoon.

3. You may get late check-out

Checking out early -- around 10 or 11 in the morning -- is also a frequent requirement for hotel guests. This can be a hassle if you have a late flight and need to store your luggage, or if you'd prefer to soak up a few extra hours in a comfortable room before the stress of traveling home. If you have a hotel rewards card, you may get late check-out as a cardmember perk, giving you much more time to pack up and depart on your own terms.

4. You could get complimentary Wi-Fi

Most people don't want to go without internet access on vacation, nor do they want to pay extra for it. And while some hotels offer free Wi-Fi to all guests, others do so only for cardholders or loyalty program members. If you have a hotel card, you'll likely get Wi-Fi as a cardmember perk whenever you stay.

5. You may get room upgrades

Finally, as a privilege of becoming a cardholder, you may get upgrades like a larger room, or one with a better view or more amenities -- at no extra charge. A nicer room can make your vacation more enjoyable, especially if you don't pay more for it.

Each of these perks can be well worth it if you stay at the same hotel often, so give them consideration if you're looking into a hotel rewards card.

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